September 1st Letter from Superintendent Lisa McCullough

Sept. 1st, 2014, 2014

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I regret to be writing to you with disappointing news regarding the current labour dispute. Discussions over the weekend between BCTF and BCPSEA did not reach an adequate level of progress resulting in mediator Vince Ready walking out on the exploratory talks. We have been informed that Mr. Ready will continue to monitor the situation and will be talking with each party daily.

As a result of this news, it is anticipated that there will be further picketing at all of our school sites on Tuesday, September 2nd and likely through this upcoming week. Our administrative teams will be at each school in the event that you need to reach them. However, we will not have sufficient supervision to have our students attending school. Our school bus transportation will also not be operating.

We will write to you again as soon as we have further information, including whether or not we know more in time for opening later this week. Please continue to check your email for our messages, consult media, our school district website the BCTF website and the BCPSEA website

Again, we are very anxious to welcome our students back and hope to have more positive news to share soon.


Lisa McCullough

Superintendent of Schools

August 31st Update

Teacher Job Action and Partial Lockout Updates in SD48 (Sea to Sky)
We are confirming that discussions between BCPSEA and the BCTF has stopped for the time being. We are currently waiting for official direction from the Ministry of Education regarding delays to school opening. Please continue to check this site for further updates as they occur.

Click on the link below for most current information regarding the labour dispute, School District No.48, BCPSEA, and the Ministry of Education. The possible impact on school start-up is addressed:

Supporting Literacy at Home

Dear Parents,

As always we value the partnership we have with you in supporting a love of literacy in your children. Here are some ideas of how you can do that over the coming weeks and throughout the year. We look forward to working with you and your child to foster a love of reading, writing and learning as soon as possible.

Literacy tips for early readers:
• Point out words around the house, in the neighbourhood, all the places you go: on cereal boxes, food labels, toys, restaurants, and traffic signs.
• Sing songs, say short poems or nursery rhymes, and play rhyming words games with your child.
• Read stories out loud to your child. Point to the words on the page as you read. It is ok to look at the pictures, too and what clues they give about the story.
• Encourage older children to read with younger children.
• Ask your child to read (or pretend to read) to you. Make this reading enjoyable. Don’t worry if your child does not read all of the words correctly but, rather, applaud your child’s efforts to read.
• Go to the public library together. Have books, magazines, and newspapers around the house. Comic books are great to read, as are information books. Let your child see you reading.
• Ask your child to write things such as grocery lists, to-do lists, postcards, or short messages to family members or friends. Don’t worry about correct spelling! Praise your child for being a writer!

Literacy tips for more advanced readers:
• Look for novels and other books with your child either on line or on paper at your local library. If your child doesn’t have a public library card, maybe now is the time to get one.
• Talk to your child about what he or she is reading. Ask questions like, “What do you think about that story?” “What would you have done if you were that character?”
• Read to your child regularly, even after your child is able to read some books independently.
• Listen to your child read. Use strategies to help your child with tricky words. For example, when your child comes to an unfamiliar word, you might say, “Skip it and read to the end of the sentence. What makes sense and looks like the word that you see?”
• Praise your child’s efforts at reading.
• Play word games such as thinking of different words to describe the same things.
• Support your child’s writing. Have writing materials such as paper, markers, and pencils available. Have them write with a purpose: a grocery list, a to-do list, a letter to a friend or relative.
• Set reasonable limits for screen viewing.

Literacy tips for secondary readers:
• Encourage your child to visit the public library and talk to the librarians about what books they recommend.
• Read a novel with your child and compare thoughts and opinions.
• Get into a series of novels like the Harry Potter or the Hunger Games novels.
• Read a book and watch the movie adaptation together to compare.
• Encourage your children to read all kinds of books, not just fiction. Reading online is also a skill. Teach them to think critically about what they read on the internet.
• Encourage writing for real purposes: letters to newspaper editors, politician, famous people they admire. They can also write stories, poems, plays or articles.

Library Contact numbers:
Squamish Public Library: 604 892 3110
Whistler Public Library: 604 935 8433
Pemberton Public Library: 604 894 6916

Update from the Superintendent

August 21, 2014

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an update on the provincial labour dispute.

As you are aware, the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) reached an impasse with regards to negotiating a new contract and, as a result, on June 17, 2014 the BCTF escalated their job action to a full strike. Unfortunately the two parties have not been able to make significant progress over the summer months and the possibility of schools opening as usual following Labour Day is uncertain.

A decision on school opening will likely not be made until Friday, August 29, 2014 in order to provide both parties with the maximum amount of time to reach a negotiated settlement before schools are due to open.

If there is a settlement within the next week, our expectation is that all schools in the Sea to Sky School District will open on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 as ordinarily scheduled.

If there is no settlement within the next week, there are two likely scenarios.

One is that teachers could return to work, continuing job action at a stage lower than a full walk out. This would mean that schools would open on time.

A second scenario in the event of no negotiated settlement is that either picket lines or BCPSEA action could prevent schools from operating. In this scenario, all schools will be closed and students would remain home. School bus transportation will be cancelled. Administrators will remain on site at each school in the event of any emergencies and to support any students who do arrive on site.

Parents are encouraged over the next week and the long weekend to consult media, our school district website the BCTF website and the BCPSEA website If you need more specific information about school-related matters, please contact your principal directly.

It is most unfortunate that there has not been a resolution to this dispute and it remains our collective hope that the two parties adjust their positions and reach a negotiated settlement before schools are due to open. We will continue to endeavour to keep you up to date on this information. Thank you for your continued understanding during this challenging time.


Lisa McCullough

Superintendent of Schools

Back to School

Hello everyone. 

Intermediate student school supply lists are available on this website under Things You Need to Know.  For the primary students, we are going to ask for $35 ($30 for Kindies) and we will purchase the supplies for you.  The $35 will include a Squamish Elementary School Planner.

Intermediate students are asked to bring $5 for the planner, please and thank you!

We will be in touch with new kindergarten families in mid-August regarding the first week of school.

Have an Awesome August!